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Innovation without me: Why employees do (not) participate in organizational innovation communities

: Wendelken, Anke; Danzinger, Frank; Rau, Christiane; Möslein, Kathrin


R and D Management 44 (2014), No.2, pp.217-236
ISSN: 0033-6807 (Print)
ISSN: 1467-9310 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IIS ()
Wissensmanagement; Organisationsentwicklung; Innovation; Communities

A key issue in community research is the set of motivations stimulating individuals to participate and contribute voluntarily to communities. This article examines the motivations of employees, who are traditionally not involved in the innovation process, to (not) participate in organizational innovation communities. Building on an in-depth single case study, we aim to answer the following research questions: (1) What motivates participants of organizational innovation communities to participate? and (2) What motivates nonparticipants of organizational innovation communities to not participate? We find and categorize multiple factors that motivate non-research and development employees to participate and to not participate. Moreover, we find an overlap as well as differences in the set of motivations of participants and nonparticipants. With nonparticipants normally being a large but barely explicitly recognized group, we argue that the found deviations contribute to the understanding of motivations in the context of organizational innovation communities and allow for direct design implications for innovation managers.